The 2020 Disney Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and ESSENCE kicks off this week, March 12-15, 2020, welcoming 100 students from across the country to Walt Disney World Resort for an immersive, transformational four-day mentoring experience. Eleven students from the Metro Atlanta area are among the 100 students in attendance.

The program, now in its 13th year, is a part of Walt Disney World’s commitment to helping the next generation of young people by inspiring them at a critical time in their development. During the event, the students will discover career opportunities, learn to pursue their dreams and interact with celebrities and motivational speakers.

The Disney Dreamers Academy theme is “BE100,” encouraging teens to be positive, to be “all in” and relentlessly pursue their dreams to make a difference in the lives of others.

Highlights of the 2020 event will include:

  • A celebrity lineup featuring: Steve Harvey (TV and Radio personality), Keke Palmer (Co-Host of ABC’s Strahan, Sara and Keke), Marsai Martin (ABC’s black-ish), Trevor Jackson (Freefrom’s grown-ish), cast members from ABC’s mixed-ish, cast members from OWN’s David Meets Man and more
  • Students will be featured in a special parade at the Magic Kingdom
  • Mentorship sessions on cultivating a winning mindset, networking, image and style, achieving success in business, and more
  • 17 different hands-on career workshops based on the students’ interests, led by Disney cast members and industry leaders
  • For the first time, an Aviation/Space career workshop will be offered for students, led by former NASA scientists Myron and Tiera Fletcher

Contributing to the creation of an unforgettable experience for the students are event sponsors and contributors including title sponsor ESSENCE, whose team mentors the students and leads sessions during the event, as well as General Motors and ESPN’s The Undefeated.

Other companies that contributed to the event include Walt Disney Studios, Delta, Me and the Bees Lemonade, Cantu, Luster, L’Oréal, Neutrogena, H&M, National Geographic, Parramore Kidz Zone and the Grand Bohemian Hotel.


Devan Smith from Marietta, Ga. was presented with the Courage Award at the commencement of the 12th annual Disney Dreamers Academy on Sunday, March 24, 2019, at Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Eleven Atlanta-area students will attend this year’s 13th annual Disney Dreamers Academy at Walt Disney World this week. (Gregg Newton, photographer)

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